Talking the Talk

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Education buzzword dictionary for students and parents in the US

Each professional sector has its own buzzwords and education is no exception. If you are a student or parent, you might not always be up-to-date with the latest lingo. At Tutor Doctor, we want to keep you in the loop so that you always know exactly what’s happening.

School choice: This describes the institutions that are open for selection by a student i.e. it’s the list of educational choices that the student qualifies for. This vernacular extends to the political arena as politicians debate the validity of magnet schools, voucher systems, charter schools and student performance. Generally, school choice is determined by your address, but parents may opt for one of the other kinds of schools listed above or they may choose a private school or home schooling.

Voucher System: The voucher system is a certificate or tax credit issued by the government to parents for assistance with private school or home school expenses when their child does not attend the public school in their area.

Charter Schools: These are schools that receive government funding, but are exempt from some of the standards, regulations and statues that are applied to public schools. These are generally only partially funded by state money and rely on private donations to fulfill their financial needs.

Blended Learning: This is a combination of online courses and classroom education. Here students can join some programs at a school or get a tutor. This means they are able to reap the benefits of both online and classroom education models.

Common Core State Standards (CCSS): These are new educational benchmarks outlined by each state which will be fully implemented by 2014. According to the website: “These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs.” The standards will be tested with a standardized testing system. To date, 45 states and 3 territories have accepted the CCSS. Check here to see if your state is among those who have accepted the CCSS.

Flipped classes: This is a new way to teach where students learn the process at home, and do their homework in class where the teacher can help to iron out any misunderstandings. This method is most widely utilized with math, but can be applied to other subjects as well. Students watch videos and online demonstrations on how to solve a math problem. They can replay these as many times as they need to in order to understand the methodology. Then they do their homework in class where the teacher can help and explain further if needs be.

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